No #JusticeForBobo as body believed to be missing KZN teen found dumped in river
The badly decomposed body of a person, believed to be that of 16-year-old Andile “Bobo” Mbuthu, was recovered from a river in Tongaat, north of Durban, on Friday.
Mbuthu, a matric pupil at Nkosibomvu Secondary, had been missing since last week.
On Tuesday a video was widely circulated on social media showing what is believed to be Mbuthu's battered and bloodied body lying near a pool of water and blood.
It is understood Mbuthu had been kidnapped after he was allegedly caught stealing from a local tavern in the area, known as Magagula Lounge. The tavern was torched by angry community members on Friday morning.
According to Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa), Mbuthu's family were informed by members of the community of the alleged assault last Tuesday. When they approached the tavern and asked about his whereabouts, the family were told he had escaped.
“They were informed he was assaulted after he was accused of stealing alcohol. He could not be located since,” Rusa said in a statement.
This week the community of Hambanathi in Tongaat began a powerful social media campaign under #JusticeForBobo which trended across social media platforms.
JUST IN: Tense situation in Hambanathi township in Tongaat. Angry community members want to approach the famous lounge in the area where Andile "Bobo" Mchunu was last seen, being allegedly beaten for allegedly stealing alcohol.#RIPBobo #JusticeForBobo pic.twitter.com/bS2fkgmkpr— Smindlo Uyaphusha eRBay 🇿🇦 (@SmindloShandu) May 8, 2020
Police spokesperson Brig Jay Naicker confirmed that human remains were recovered from the Newtown River, but would need to be sent for DNA sampling before they could determine whether the body was Mbuthu.
Naicker said six men were arrested on Thursday in connection with Mbuthu's disappearance.
Outraged South Africans have taken to social media to pay homage to the teen, despite police having yet to confirm his death.
A touching tribute was posted on his school's Facebook page after admins of the page had learnt of information which suggested a confession was made by one of the six arrested men to reveal that Mbuthu's body was thrown into the river after he succumbed to his injuries.
Naicker said the suspects were in police custody and investigations were ongoing.